Celebrity scribblings on sale to raise cash for Westcountry wildlife
Bill Oddie, Joanna Lumley and Michael Morpurgo are among a host of celebrities from the worlds of stage, screen, sport and science to have put pen to paper for Cornwall's leading conservation charity.
Cornwall Wildlife Trust (CWT) invited actors, authors, comedians, painters and athletes to create "doodles" that could be sold in a fundraising auction online.
Appeal co-ordinator Dania Shaw said the organisation, which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary, had been overwhelmed by the response.
"We are thrilled to have received such a large number of doodles from such a diverse group of celebrities," she said. "Bidding in the auction on eBay is expected to be intense and we are hoping it will raise more than £5,000 for Cornwall's wildlife and wild places."
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The charity has already received 28 doodles, including contributions from actors Emma Thompson, Richard E Grant and Sir Ben Kingsley, playwright Alan Ayckbourn, comedians Jo Brand and Frank Skinner, film director Michael Winner, Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies, broadcaster Chris Tarrant, illustrator Michael Foreman and singer Daniel O'Donnell. So far, the highest bid – £200 – is for St Just artist Kurt Jackson's "doodle" of Cape Cornwall.
Conservationist, ornithologist and Goodies star Bill Oddie was the first to send his doodle. Entitled Never Mind The Pollacks, it is a drawing of whales singing a selection of songs, from "Whale Meat Again" to "Salmon-chanted Evening". As with all the doodles, the winning bidder for Bill's cartoon will receive an autograph verifying it as his original work.
Bestselling author Michael Morpurgo, whose books include Warhorse, Wreck Of The Zanzibar and Why The Whales Came, donated a crude drawing of an oyster catcher, accompanied by a passage explaining "now you see why I only doodle writing". And Alan Titchmarsh doodled a dolphin jumping over a penguin, with the accompanying caption: "Nothing in life is black and white – except us and zebras."
CWT trustee Keith Hambly-Staite said: "Our celebrity doodle auction offers a great way to get a piece of original art from celebrities and nationally recognised book illustrators, as well as supporting the work of an organisation that has been protecting Cornwall's wildlife on land and sea since 1962.
"The fun – and in some cases the fantasy – of the doodles reflects the work of the trust and all that can be enjoyed on wildlife adventures."
To bid for a signed doodle, visit www.cornwallwildlife trust.org.uk/doodle. Bidding closes at 9am on Sunday, December 2.